Sen. Kamala Harris
U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris. Photo by Chris Stone

California Sen. Kamala Harris introduced a bill Thursday that would create a national center for research into the new frontier of quantum computing.

Her bill would establish a Department of Defense Quantum Computing Research Consortium to make grants and coordinate the research efforts of academia, government and business.

“Quantum computing is the next technological frontier that will change the world and we cannot afford to fall behind,” said Harris. “It could create jobs for the next generation, cure diseases, and above all else — make our nation stronger and safer.”

Quantum computers leverage the principles of quantum mechanics — including superposition and entanglement — to solve problems that are impossible for traditional computers.

California has been at the forefront of quantum information science with facilities at the University of Southern California, Caltech, Google Venice Beach, University of California Riverside, Stanford University, Rigetti Computers and the University of California Santa Barbara. However, there is concern than China is leading in the race.

“Without adequate research and coordination in quantum computing, we risk falling behind our global competition in the cyberspace race which leaves us vulnerable to attacks from our adversaries,” Harris said.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.